Youth soccer teams participate in the BooFest Soccer Tournament at Starfire Sports in Tukwila last October. Starfire recently received a $6,000 grant from the Port of Seattle to support tourism. HEIDI SANDERS/Tukwila Reporter

Tukwila’s Starfire Sports receives tourism grant from Port of Seattle

Starfire Sports in Tukwila received a $6,000 grant from the Port of Seattle to support tourism, the port announced in a media release on Tuesday.

Starfire was one of 18 grant recipients from throughout the state. Overall, the grants will fund $150,000 in projects, from websites and advertising to booths at travel trade shows, and must be matched by the organization and used for publicizing and attracting visitors to their destinations.

Starfire Sports will use its grant to market and promote tournament events and dates to teams traveling from outside of Washington, in states such as Alaska and Hawaii. The athletic complex features indoor and outdoor soccer fields and is the training facility for the Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer team.

“Increasing the number of tourists to Washington means more jobs for our region, so the Port of Seattle is partnering with communities to help grow tourism,” Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton said in the media release. “More people tasting wine in Walla Walla or beer in Bellingham, hiking on Mount Rainier or kayaking in the San Juan Islands, or visiting a Boeing plant or the historic Hanford B reactor is good for jobs everywhere in Washington.”

The Port of Seattle has been encouraging tourists to extend their visits to the region by highlighting places across the state that offer interesting experiences. One goal is to entice some of the nearly one million annual Alaskan cruise passengers to “cruise and stay,” adding a few days on either end of their cruise to sightsee in Washington.